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Rodriguez v. Hermes Landscaping, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Kansas

October 17, 2017

ANTONIO CHAVEZ RODRIGUEZ, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v.
HERMES LANDSCAPING, INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER ON MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER

          KENNETH G. GALE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         Now before the Court is Plaintiffs' “Motion for a Protective Order as to the Method and Location of Plaintiff's Deposition.” (Doc. 22.) For the reasons set forth below, the motion is GRANTED in part.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Antonio Chavez Rodriguez worked for Defendant in Kansas as an H-2B worker from Mexico. The H-2B program allows foreign nationals to come into the United States “temporarily . . . to perform . . . temporary service or labor if unemployed persons capable of performing such service or labor cannot be found in this country.” 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b). Plaintiff contends that for almost 10 years, he would come to Kansas to work in landscaping and then return to Mexico when the work was completed.[1] (See Doc. 14.)

         Plaintiffs bring the present lawsuit on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated alleging “violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Kansas law, and Missouri law, and alleging damages for Defendant's breach of its contracts with the H-2B workers.” (Doc. 23, at 3.) Because of the nature of the claims at issue, it is uncontested that this lawsuit could only have been brought in Kansas or Missouri.

         The present motion seeks a Protective Order from the Court regarding the method and location of Plaintiffs' depositions. Plaintiffs contend that immigration restrictions make travel to the U.S. for depositions difficult. They also contend they do not have the financial means to do so. As such, they propose that the depositions occur in Mexico City or by video-conference.

         Defendant responds that it would face an undue financial burden if the depositions were to occur in Mexico. Defendant also argues that video depositions would be impractical given the potential length of the depositions, the need for a translator, and the likely number of deposition exhibits.

         DISCUSSION

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(c) governs protective orders and provides, in relevant part:

A party or any person from whom discovery is sought may move for a protective order in the court where the action is pending.... The motion must include a certification that the movant has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with other affected parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without court action. The court may, for good cause, issue an order to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:
(A) forbidding the disclosure or discovery;
(B) specifying terms, including time and place, for the disclosure or discovery;
* * *

Fed.R.Civ.P. ...


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